Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Polls show Marco Rubio with sizable lead over Senate rivals Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek

Republican Marco Rubio holds a solid 13-point lead over Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent in the race for Florida's U.S. Senate seat, with Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek a distant third at 18 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

With a 46-33 edge over Crist, Rubio, a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and a favorite of the tea party movement, is benefiting from strong voter anger at the federal government, likely voters tell the independent Quinnipiac University survey, conducted by live interviewers.

"It is no coincidence that Rubio is getting 46 percent of the vote and 48 percent of the electorate is angry at Washington," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Added Brown: "Almost half of Florida's likely voters are angry at the federal government, and Rubio gets 68 percent of these angry voters. Moreover, with only 3 percent of voters undecided, Rubio just needs to hold onto what he's got, while Crist and Meek, especially, have their work cut out for them if they want to pass the leader."

The poll surveyed 1,151 likely Florida voters, on September 23-28. The margin of error: 2.9 percentage points.

At the start of the three-way Senate race, Democratic elections strategist Steve Schale suggested that Crist could not win enough Democrats and Republicans to win the race. But Schale based his analysis then on Crist winning more than the 45 percent of independent voters Quinnipiac showed supporting him Thursday.

"The basic math to win for Crist: win roughly 1/3 of the partisan vote and 50 percent of the NPA," Schale wrote in a widely circulated blog in August. "Quite frankly, if he doesn't get 50 percent [of independent voters], the whole conversation is purely academic."

However, Schale wrote that Meek would eventually garner a larger share of the Democrat vote than the 43 percent Quinnipiac showed him winning.

On Wednesday, Schale told the News Service of Florida that the Quinnipiac numbers bolstered his argument that the numbers did not add up for Crist.

"I'm not going to deny that Rubio is in the driver's seat, but what I try to tell Democrats is as long as they continue to believe that Crist can win, which the Quinnipiac poll shows he can't, a vote for Crist is a vote for Rubio," he said. "It's time to realize that getting behind Meek — I know it's not an easy case to make — is still more viable than thinking Crist can win."

Schale, who ran President Barack Obama's campaign in Florida, added that Meek drawing 18 percent in the poll a month from Election Day doesn't mean he can't make up ground in the race.

"Where was Barack Obama in Iowa six weeks out?" he said. "The reality for Kendrick is, if he gets 80-85 percent of the Democratic vote, it's a very different race."

Quinnipiac showed Meek garnering 43 percent of Democrats, basically splitting them with Crist.

Two other polls within the past week show Rubio with an equally large lead over Crist and Meek.

According to the CNN-Time-Opinion Research Corp. poll released Wednesday, 42 percent of likely voters in Florida support Rubio, while just 31 percent backed Crist. Meek had 23 percent; just 3 percent were undecided.

Said CNN polling director Keating Holland in a statement: "Crist had a lead among independents at the start of the month, but Rubio now appears to have the edge among this key group.

"And with Meek holding a majority of the vote among Democrats, that narrows Crist's options heading into the final turn."

On Saturday, a Mason-Dixon Research & Associates poll of 625 likely voters showed 40 percent supported Rubio, while Crist had just 28 percent. Meek's tally: 23 percent.

Said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker: "Crist is bleeding Democrats to Meek and independents to both Meek and Rubio."

News Service of Florida reporter Keith Laing contributed to this report.

Polls show Marco Rubio with sizable lead over Senate rivals Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek 09/30/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

    Real Estate

    The Clearwater lawyer accused of tricking a bidder into paying $458,100 for a gulf-front condo now plans to contest a judge's order tossing out the sale.

    John Houde, left, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground, in August during a hearing Sixth Judicial Circuit court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse. The judge agreed with Houde's allegation that he was duped by Skelton in thinking he bought a Redington Beach condo for $458,100 out of a foreclosure auction. Now Skelton is fighting back. 
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  2. Online retailer pulls 'Anne Frank' Halloween costume amid backlash

    Human Interest

    Who thought this was a good idea?

    A screenshot shows a children's costume once advertised as an 'Anne Frank' costume on HalloweenCostumes.com. [Screengrab via fancydress.com]
  3. Wins record in reach for Phil Hayford after nearly four decades of coaching

    Footballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Phil Hayford always wanted to be a football coach.

    Keswick Christian football coach Phil Hayford in the huddle during practice at the school in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2017. Hayford is one win shy of tying the Pinellas County record for overall wins. Hayford, 70, has an overall record of 194-143, which includes 33 years at Shorecrest and two at Keswick.
  4. Police: Woman shoots, kills teen who tried to carjack her in Clearwater

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — A woman shot and killed an 18-year-old who tried to carjack her Monday night, police said.

    One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it on Oct. 16, 2017, Clearwater police said. The unidentified car owner reported the theft, at the Bank of America at the corner of Belcher and Belleair roads, to police around 8 p.m. The car owner also fired shots at the thieves. [Clearwater Police Department]
  5. Rick and Tom podcast: Big sigh of relief for the Bucs

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on Jameis Winston's throwing shoulder as x-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day with a chance to play this weekend in Buffalo. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws incomplete under pressure during Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]